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Extradition of Assange ‘medically unacceptable’, say doctors

APPROVING the extradition of Julian Assange would be “medically and ethically unacceptable,” a group of 300 doctors from 35 countries has warned Priti Patel. 

The Home Secretary has until June 19 to decide whether to allow the WikiLeaks founder to be extradited to the US to stand trial, after the High Court ruled last month that he could be removed. 

The decision overturned a previous ruling by a judge in January 2021 rejecting the extradition request on health grounds.

In December the High Court said that the US had since provided sufficient assurances that the 50-year-old Australian citizen could be safely cared for.

But doctors have branded these assurances by the US government as “worthless” given the country’s “record of pursuit, persecution and plotted murder of Mr Assange in retaliation for his public interest journalism.”

The open letter, sent on Friday to Ms Patel, and copied to PM Boris Johnson and Australian leaders, draws attention to Mr Assange’s “deteriorating health” during his imprisonment at high security jail Belmarsh, including suffering a mini stroke in October 2021. 

“This dramatic deterioration of Mr Assange’s health has not yet been considered in his extradition proceedings,” the letter, released by the group yesterday reads. 

“The US assurances accepted by the High Court, therefore, which would form the basis of any extradition approval, are founded upon outdated medical information, rendering them obsolete.”

The healthcare workers, who are members of the Doctors for Assange campaign group, argue that his extradition under the circumstances would constitute negligence. 

The group is calling for Ms Patel to refuse permission to extradite the WikiLeaks founder, whose treatment at the hands of various authorities has been described as akin to torture. 

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